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ICC Note:

A sixth Iranian Christian, Amin Afsharmanesh, in addition to Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani, Mehdi Furutan, Mohammad Beliad, Parviz Khalaj, and Nazly Beliad, is also standing trial on blasphemy charges. The trial was recently adjourned for the second time this month “in order to allow prosecutors to seek the assistance of Iran’s traditional churches  in determining  their guilt,” Christian Solidarity Worldwide reports.

4/13/2011 Iran (Christian Solidarity Worldwide) – The blasphemy trial of members of the Church of Iran, which  was adjourned on 5 April to give the prosecution more time to gather evidence, has been adjourned once more, in order to allow prosecutors  to seek the assistance of  Iran’s traditional churches  in determining  their guilt. 

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has learned that in addition to Behrouz Sadegh-Khandjani, Mehdi Furutan, Mohammad Beliad, Parviz Khalaj, and Nazly Beliad, a sixth Iranian Christian, Amin Afsharmanesh, is also standing trial on blasphemy charges.

In an earlier trial at the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, the six members of the evangelical Church of Iran denomination were handed a one-year sentence for Crimes against the Islamic Order, which their legal team believes will be withdrawn on appeal.

There has been a recent increase in official rhetoric against evangelical Christians.  On 4 January, Morteza Tamadon, the governor of Tehran, called the evangelical movement “a false, deviant and corrupt sect… placing themselves within the religion of Islam like a parasite and under the cover of Christianity”. 

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